• Published 6th Apr 2019
  • 1,161 Views, 588 Comments

Distant Reflections - David Silver

Equestria and Everglow have brushed against one another through the course of their histories, each time fleeting, but memorable to those involved. Many many years later, the unaging Twilight captains a space vessel to explore the universe.

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71 - Remember the Mission

"The mineralites are very picky during the best of times." The human on the screen leaned in a bit. "And you tell me you've riled them?"

Steel spread his hooves. "We are on a mission to provide succor. If you are not willing to assist another Everglow vessel, then that's fine. You're not being forced."

The other captain drummed his fingers, his hand resting just above the rim he was tapping. "If they catch us, we will never be able to trade with them again, and that's assuming they don't immediately arrest us, everyone on my ship. You are asking for a lot."

Fast nodded in solidarity. "We will be completely powered down and inert, minus life support, and that won't register as anything." As if any scan took the time to count the number of fans running on a ship or co2 scrubbers. "We will remain like that until you give the word, then we will depart, with no fanfare."

"That is all very well and good." He raised a finger to point. "But what of payment?"

Steel smiled a little. Conventional, simple. If someone was asking him for payment, that meant they were willing, for the correct price. "Let's discuss a fair exchange."

"So ah was deleted." Error rubbed at his chin a moment, then resumed his walk. "Weren't mah brightest day and I shoulda known better."

"But you did it for someone you like a lot." The goat avatar flashed a big smile. "I can understand why, but let's not do that again. The flutters are our friends, and their crazy habits won't harm us, promise."

"Ah get that now." Error was quiet a moment. "So... How do I make a friend that ain't tryin' to make me a friend?"

"I'm glad you accept me as a friend then." Wandering's avatar sprang forth a question mark that wobbled over their head. "But that's a great question! The easiest way to make friends is to be around people. You spend most of your time around Belle, which is great for your relationship, don't get me wrong, but if you helped out around the ship more, you'd be around other crew members, and friendships could grow organically."

"Right, okay... But what do I do?" He pointed at the image he had placed in his field of view as floating ahead of him. "All I'm cleared for is being big."

"Well now that can't be true." The question mark danced slowly left and right. "You're a program, right? You must be great at computers."

"You're a fleshy, right?" Error smirked at his new friend. "You must know biology like the back of yer hoof."

"Point received." The avatar rocked as if struck before a silly smile returned. "Well, you didn't answer the question. How good are you with computers?"

"Not all bad." He paused to rub a cheek a moment. "It's different fer me than you, ah bet. Dealin' with a computer that's bein' funny is like climbin' a hill that's tryin' ta get rid of ya."

"Instead of typing manically trying to find the technical answer," continued Wandering. "That sounds so cool." The avatar shined with a big smile, as if it had gained a level. "Still, if you can help with that, you'd have a reason to be involved in a lot of people's days, which means more chances to make friends."


HollyTrelly inclined their heads away from one another, peering at their newest peer. "Are you really--" began Holly.

"--Less than a few hours old?" continued Trelly.

Harp bobbed his head, even as Glitch's eye scowled a bit. "His file is clear on this matter. You are very advanced!"

"No he ain't." Glitch rolled her eye before thrusting a hoof at Kit. "We were up and moving at the same time, and I bet we knew more."

"Sis! This isn't a contest," objected Harp, his hoof dancing in an incomplete way that wouldn't look right without the rest of his body taking part, but Glitch and Harp were not in sync.

Kit reached suddenly, just casually feeling the faces of his new friends. He seemed to enjoy the metal contours and the alien lines, bedazzled by them with a silly smile worn. "You're both amazing! All I did was grow up fast. That's boring compared to you two."

Trelly flashed a smile, her eyes lighting up. "You are not like the others. Are you a predator?"

Holly inclined his head. "Wouldn't that make the others nervous?"

"No, dummy," chastised Trelly. "We're predators and they're alright with us. Why would another predator change things? So, are ya?"

Kit clasped his hands together. "Foxes are om-a!" He blushed a little, perhaps realizing he hadn't said it right. "Omni? Om Om Om!" He chomped his teeth as he began making that noise, giggling with childlike wonder. However developed he was in some ways, he was still clearly a child, filled with the wants and urges that came with it.

HollyTrelly regarded Kit curiously, joined by GlitchHarp. Though that kit was roughly their age, it was clear to both that, emotionally, the fox had some developing to do to catch up.

Harp extended a hoof. "Friendship file opened."

Glitch grunted softly before a smile crept into being. "Yeah, sure. Someone's gotta watch out fer ya."

Holly bobbed his head. "We're Holly--"

"--Trelly. Nice to meet you." She offered her side's hand towards Kit. Kit took it immediately, grasping that big clawed alien thing and caressing it curiously.

"You have such big claws!" Kit's smile was a big beam of wonder. "Will my claws get this big?" He flexed to show his claws, but foxes were not known for great and terrible claws. Like canine claws at a glance, vulpine claws were one of the only canine-like claws that could scale trees, a trick he'd perhaps learn one day.

Trelly drew her hand back. "Your happiness is catchy."

"We have observed this behavior in our data." Harp thrust up a hoof. "This is why mom and I try to be visibly happy whenever appropriate, to lift the spirits of others around us. It is surprisingly effective."

"No thanks." Glitch's eye narrowed a little. "Not joinin' the always-smiling club and you can't make me."


HollyTrelly suddenly jumped at Kit, barreling him to the ground. Without a single word, the three children began wrestling, chomping and clawing and fighting with a sudden fury, but it was the play of two predator youth, neither wanting to actually hurt the other. It was a release HollyTrelly forgot about, but quickly rediscovered. Kit was laughing and howling with mock viciousness as he tried to come out on top, leaving the other children to watch the two with wonder.

"Already?" Remi had her arms folded under her chest, glaring at something only she could see. "Just because my kit skipped a few years doesn't mean--"

"--Things are becoming frayed, and your situation is settled. Besides, just like last time, I'll put you back where you started." The hippogriff smiled at her confidently. "Assuming you do your job, barely anyone will even notice!"

"I will notice!" huffed out Remi. "We're going into a dangerous mission, my kid's a lovable freak, and you want to send me hurtling through time and space."

"That is a fair summary." Not that he seemed to have a bit of sympathy to offer. "So put your effort into getting it done. The faster you do it, the faster--"

"--You'll send me back at the same time." Remi pinched the bridge of her snout. "So what's the problem?"

"This one is a doozy!" He clapped his hands. "Two worlds, separated by a dimension, or far enough in the stars. Everglow and Equestria came into contact, and things got wibbly, in a bad way. Your job is simple."

Remi sufferingly sighed, but listened to the task at hand.

With a loud click, most of the ship was plunged into gloom. Only the faint strips of emergency lighting were left on. The computer stopped responding. If not for the faint hum of blowing air, one might be forgiven for thinking the entire ship had gone dead.

Fast sat back in her seat, no information flashing before her eyes as was usually the case when she sat there. "We are parked. It's up to them now."

They could do nothing... but wait. Either their ride got them in, or not.

Dawn looked over his shoulder. "Passive sensors are still active." It took no power for some types of sensors. He leaned in and shoved his face against a snout-shaped apparatus, allowing him to see through the one actual periscope that existed in the ship. He could see outside with his own eyes.

"Situation normal," he reported. It would have been more surprising had trouble already started so quickly.

Steel adjusted his seating in a bit of a shuffle. "While we wait... Wandering? Status report?"

"Do you mean with the newest member?" He could see the nod in the gloom. "They're doing well! They've been accepted into the group at the same nursery that holds our alien guest and GlitchHarp. HollyTrelly seems to like having another predator around, and GlitchHarp, well, they're more complicated. Harp, I think, feels a need to protect Kit. Glitch is slightly threatened at another youth that occupies a dangerously similar 'odd trait', but she's coming around."

"Odd trait?" Steel folded his arms, sitting up on his haunches. "I can think of quite a number each of the three you mentioned have."

"While true, each has one they consider 'most' poignant to them." Wandering flicked an ear, reaching up to swat it right afterwards. "Glitch takes pride in being so young, but able. Kit is also a young and able person, the only crewmember to be able to recite their name within a day of birth besides Glitch."

"Ah..." Things grew quiet. There just wasn't anything to do. "So they're working it out?" It really wasn't any of Steel's business to worry about that.

"I want to know how Octavia is doing," butted in Fast. "This must be quite an experience, becoming a mother to... that. I'm not sure what I'd do if I had a foal that spoke back at me before I'd even changed its first diaper."

"Considering it?" came Under's joking tone.

"Under!" She clopped down a hoof and gave him a glare, even if he wasn't facing her. "Still, how is she doing?"

"She has expressed desire to resume our arcane studies." Under nodded towards Twilight, who sat besides him. "She is quite set on keeping her occult spellcasting, but not so proud that she thinks comparing and contrasting with other methodologies can't turn up useful techniques."

"Again?" Octavia reached out and set a hoof on Remi's snout. "Tell me exactly what is happening. Hide nothing. We are partners, in more than one way, so just assume I will understand."

"I don't even understand." That didn't stop Remi from snuggling in close with her pony. "So I have to go back in time to make sure these two lost ponies from Equestria get back to Equestria. They got lost in Everglow."

Octavia's eyes widened in the darkness. "Diamond Tiara!"

"Huh? Yeah, that's her name." Remi frowned in the dark. "How do you know that name?"

"She went missing... It caused quite the stir when ponies figured it out... How did it end..." She rubbed the side of her head with the flat of a hoof. "It's too long ago, I'm quite afraid."

"That may be... for the best?" Remi inclined her head. "Seeing as if you remembered her never being found, and I make her suddenly appear, that sounds like a paradox."

"Well, let us be thankful to destiny then." Octavia nodded firmly. "They led you to me just at the right time, they will watch over you as you do their work."

"Wait, what?"

"Hm?" Octavia raised a fine brow. "Isn't it obvious? You are doing destiny's work, and I am quite proud. Be safe..." Their lips met in a gentle kiss. The darkness of the ship lent itself well to their farewell moments.

Author's Note:

Light's out! Let's see if we can't sneak into the mineralite territory and save some folks!

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